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Wheat Trial Results at Osu Extension offices

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Written Friday, September 15, 1995  

Information on 50 wheat varieties suitable for Ohio growing conditions are in the 1995 Wheat Variety Performance Trial report now available at OSU Extension county offices.

Farmers should consider more than yield when choosing a variety, says OSU plant pathologist Pat Lipps. "The objective is to obtain a variety that will perform best under the conditions of your farm," Lipps says.

To best use performance reports, look at high-yielding varieties planted in soils, fertility and weather similar to your farm's. Check the two- and three-year yield summaries, keeping test weights in mind.

"The more times your chosen variety occurs in the top yielding group over years and locations, the greater the confidence you have that it is a top yielder," Lipps says.

Look at factors such as lodging, disease severity or maturity preference. Consider each factor's importance in your operation -- some may be more critical than others. Data on lodging and heading date are useful.

Use experience and consult crop records to determine the kinds of disease resistance needed in a variety. For example, powdery mildew problems can be expected nearly every year around Wooster, Ohio. Growers there should pick varieties resistant to powdery mildew compared to varieties resistant to less-frequent diseases.

"In the west part of the state, Septoria resistance and leaf rust resistance may be of a greater priority, where as in the northwest, Septoria may be the only priority," Lipps says.

High resistance is not necessary in most areas, but stay away from varieties highly susceptible to diseases in your area. Disease levels vary each year in the trials. In the 1995 report, susceptible varieties have a rating of six or higher for powdery mildew and 10 or more for leaf rust. Scab and Septoria results are relative because no varieties have high levels of resistance to those diseases.

Since the top 20 varieties do not differ significantly in yield ability, resistance to expected diseases can be as important as yield potential. This also will save on foliar fungicide treatments if the disease becomes a local problem.

Finally, spread the risk of disease losses by planting more than one variety. Select several varieties with high yield potential and good standability as protection against an unexpected disease problem, Lipps says.

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